An area for a transitional housing site has Redmond residents concerned.
“It makes us furious that this was not brought to our attention,” said one local resident at a Redmond City Council meeting Tuesday night.
More than 25 people voiced their thoughts on a transitional housing site.
The Safe Parking Program creates places for people to park their cars and RV’s and live in them while also meeting certain requirements.
“It’s been a great program, we have probably seen about a dozen family units come through,” said Pastor at Mountain View Fellowship church in Redmond Rick Russell. “Most of them have moved on to successful stable housing.”
“These are folks that are trying to get stabilized, trying to get back on their feet and we provide them for about 90 days at a time, a place to park and a case manager to work with them on housing,” said Russell. “If they need help in other areas like if they don’t have access to health care, we can help them with that. If they lost their birth certificate or drivers license, we can help them get those again.”
The program has been around for about a year in Redmond and now they are looking to expand near the area of 19th street and Pershall Way.
“I actually view this as an admiral project, but I don’t think that this particular site is going to work out the way that they would like it to,” said neighbor to the proposed site Mike Murphy.
Several people were in support of both the program and the site location.
“Safe parking will not solve all the homelessness, but it will and does help, those that want help,” said one speaker.
“This program is not brand new, it is known and it is working and we all want solutions for our homeless,” added another speaker.
Even more were opposed to the area and felt there was a big lack of transparency.
“It’s the impact on our property values, it’s the impact on our safety, it’s the impact on our kids,” said one commenter.
“This place is dark, it’s secluded, there’s no safety there,” said another commenter.
City Councilors expressed concern that they were not only unaware of the site location but also the fact that construction was already happening.
“I heard about this program last year, but I heard about this particular site last Thursday,” said Redmond City Councilor.I never ok’d the public works to go out there and prepare this property.”
Councilors decided to stop all current construction on the project until they could meet again on the project.
Council will meet again at Redmond City Hall on September 9th at 6 p.m.
“In some ways I can understand,” said Russell. “I think there is an image of homelessness that is mental health and drug activity and it’s unsafe and it’s unsanitary and that image I think has gotten embedded in people’s minds. The folks we work with are quietly trying to get back on their feet and we are there to help them and it is just not the image that people have in their mind, which is why we feel so confident about it, but it scares folks and we can understand that, but we are confident in the way this program operates.”